[iDC] Is there a future for the pubklic libraries?

Rolf Hapel hapel at aarhus.dk
Wed Jun 29 07:40:22 UTC 2011

Hi everyone,

I am so thrilled to be part of the Mobility Shift event in October.
Until then, I am busy with my job, being a practitioner working to transform an institution regarded as one of the most crucial societal icons of the modern, developed democratic societies.  I am talking about the public library, an institution dear to many, if not most people.  I sometimes get a little sweaty, though, thinking about the future. Some predictions tend to kill the public libraries - at least as a vehicle for distribution of knowledge - together with the printed book in a relatively short term, e.g. 2020. Others predict a more social role for the libraries as  public open spaces characterized by values that makes it welcoming for all. Others again see the public library as a possible open center for informal learning.

I wonder, if any of you guys have any thoughts on the subject of the public library.  Can you see any functions for the public library as we know it in a future where e-books and digitization have changed the formats for knowledge and culture distribution and exchange totally?

If so - to which problems in the knowledge based, networked society do you see the public library as a possible answer?

Rolf Hapel


[cid:image001.gif at 01CC363B.694F5940]

City of Aarhus
City Hall, 8000 Aarhus C
Phone +45 89 40 93 00
Mobile +45 29 20 83 56


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